The Kennedy Center

Jennifer Higdon


Jennifer Higdon, born in 1962, in New York is an outstanding American composer of classical music and a flutist. She is noted for American contemporary music and is considered a Renaissance woman in music.

She attended Bowling Green State University and Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania for Composition. She studied with George Crumb, David Loeb, Ned Rorem and Robert Spano.

Higdon presents more than a hundred performances a year in the country. Blue Cathedral, her most celebrated orchestral work received more than 50 performances in 2004-2005 alone. Her Concerto for Orchestra, premiered in 2002, was commissioned by the Philadelphia Orchestra. Similarly, City Scape (2002) was commissioned by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. Shrine, an orchestral work, was named Best Contemporary Piece of 1996 by USA Today.

Her orchestral work had been performed extensively in many famous music halls in the country, including Carnegie Hall, Merkin Hall, and the White House, by well-known artists as Hilary Hahn, the Cleveland Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony, National Symphony, and many others.

Higdon, awarded grants by the American Academy of Arts and Letters, ASCAP, Guggenheim Foundation, Meet-the-Composer, National Endowment for the Arts, and Pew Fellowship in Arts, was the first woman honored at the Tanglewood Contemporary Music Festival as the Featured Composer.

Currently, Higdon is a professor at Curtis Institute of Music and Composer-in-Residence with the Philadelphia Singers. She also serves as the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Composer for the year 2005-2006.

Jennifer Higdon


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